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Old 06-13-2011, 01:13 AM   #1
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Default WY2000 too old?

I smacked a pack of Wyeast 2000 (Budvar Lager) today at about 1:00 PM. It's now 9:00 PM and it has not swelled at all. Looked at the date and it says 15 June 2010. Is the yeast too old? I haven't pitched yet thinking I'd wait to see if it was viable. Should I take it back to LHBS tomorrow to see if I can switch it out? Also, I made a 3L starter wort with Light DME and it is very dark. What's the deal with that? I plan to decant & just pitch the yeast anyway, but it is much darker than my previous starters, and it's the same DME. Any ideas? Thanks!


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Old 06-13-2011, 01:20 AM   #2
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Apparently it's not that uncommon for the packs not to swell. That, I wouldn't worry about. However, the yeast is pretty old--when did you buy it? Have you had it for a long time or did they sell you something really old.

If you pitch it be sure to use the pitching rate calculator at mrmalty.com to ensure you get a big enough starter.


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Old 06-13-2011, 01:21 AM   #3
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Old yeast takes a long time to work. Give it a few days and you will probably find it puffs up fine.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:27 AM   #4
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I just bought the yeast 2 days ago, it's been in the fridge since I bought it. They sold me old yeast...
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:52 AM   #5
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I wouldn't be very happy buying a year-old smack pack.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slamback View Post
I smacked a pack of Wyeast 2000 (Budvar Lager) today at about 1:00 PM. It's now 9:00 PM and it has not swelled at all. Looked at the date and it says 15 June 2010. Is the yeast too old? I haven't pitched yet thinking I'd wait to see if it was viable. Should I take it back to LHBS tomorrow to see if I can switch it out? Also, I made a 3L starter wort with Light DME and it is very dark. What's the deal with that? I plan to decant & just pitch the yeast anyway, but it is much darker than my previous starters, and it's the same DME. Any ideas? Thanks!
The rule for Smack Packs is this, 1 day for every month it is past expiration on the package. So in this case, let it sit at room temp for 12 days, if it hasn't swelled any at all by day 12 chances are it is dead. If it fully swells before the 12 day mark, i would make a starter with it, just to step it up a bit, or you can just pitch it and cross your fingers.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:01 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vance71975 View Post
The rule for Smack Packs is this, 1 day for every month it is past expiration on the package. So in this case, let it sit at room temp for 12 days, if it hasn't swelled any at all by day 12 chances are it is dead. If it fully swells before the 12 day mark, i would make a starter with it, just to step it up a bit, or you can just pitch it and cross your fingers.
I believe the smack packs bear a manufacture date, not an expiration date. And the point here is that the LHBS should not be selling a year-old smack pack. I seriously doubt anyone would wait 12 days for a pack to swell.

Pitching a single smack pack directly into lager wort (as you advise) under any circumstances would be a mistake. The OP already said he would be making a starter as he should. He ought to return the pack in favour of a fresher one, if they have it. Otherwise I would go ahead and pitch W-34/70 or another dry yeast.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:35 PM   #8
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I went ahead and pitched it to my starter, thinking worst case I lose $7 and make a new starter later. It's looking like that might be the case, since there has been zero activity so far...
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:44 PM   #9
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Update: got a fresh pack of yeast from LHBS (for free, thanks Josh!!), but they didn't have any fresh Budvar Lager yeast so I got Czech Pils yeast. Hopefully it won't be too far off. Starter's bubbling away now, hope to brew by early next week.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:35 PM   #10
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I have used 3 year old smack packs without any issue. Just have to give the starter plenty of time to start showing activity.


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